Logitech G25 Force Feedback Racing Wheel
Part II: Sum of the Parts

by Chunx


The Pedals

It often seems that the pedals in any racing wheel product receive short end of the design effort, or a limited budget — or both. Perhaps this is because they sit on the floor, out of sight and therefore out of mind. Or perhaps because some design teams don’t understand how much high performance car control depends on what happens with the pedals. You could say that the pedals are the “unsung heroes” of a good PC racing controller setup. This certainly appeared to be the case with Logitech’s previous product, the Momo Racing Force Feedback wheel, which had some nice features like a stronger brake pedal spring and long pedal throws, but lacked structural rigidity and looked cheap. In fact, one of our inside sources tell us that the design process of the G25’s pedals first focused on the issues faced by customers with previous products, with a goal of correcting those deficiencies to the best of their ability. Those “issues” with previous products revolved around the under-engineered and flimsy construction of the Momo and DFP’s pedal sets, which allow too much flexing of the pedal axes under use, contributing to potentiometer calibration issues mentioned previously.

Video 2 / Pedals / 46.45MB

Where the pedal design of the Momo Racing was its weakest feature, the pedals of the G25 are perhaps Logitech’s most superb achievement. The design team’s major focus for pedal design included weight, spring stiffness, and overall feeling of realism, with an ultimate goal of producing a product that was more like a piece of true simulator hardware. The result is the pedal frame, pedal arm, and pedal face all being made of either cold-rolled or stainless steel. Indeed, the G25’s pedals, travel arms, axes and base unit feel rock-solid in use, not only due to steel components but also the straight-running tubes that guide the motion of the pedals, in a “piston/cylinder” format. And the long throws for each pedal allow very accurate and refined inputs for each axis when racing.

G25 Pedal unit

Something that Logitech did get right with the Momo Racing was the anti-slip features of the broad pedal base unit. These same features are carried through on the G25, with the latter’s pedal base sporting both rubber feet for hardwood floors, and a unique spring-loaded, flip-down carpet grip system, ensuring that the pedals won’t shift or slide across any floor surface during use. I’ve had no problems with unintended movement on the review sample, and it seems that Logitech has this aspect of pedal base design well in hand.

Inside the pedal base, each pedal sports its own plain vanilla 10k Ohm metal "can" pot with a 70 degree active reporting range, controlled via a gearing system and secured via a unique mounting format that ensures the pots are held steady regardless of pedal pressure. Although the G25’s pedal system seems to be almost over-engineered, it’s always important to remember that any pedal base is only as strong as its weakest link — in this case the potentiometers, which we should always remember are “consumable” items. Regardless of materials, all potentiometers eventually wear out - they have a wiper arm that scrapes against a carbon disk, and over time and use the wiper scrapes enough of the carbon off that it is no longer able to be read. However, our Logitech sources tell us that the G25 was put through strenuous testing and passed testing designed to emulate two years of continuous usage.

Moving back outside, the stainless steel pedal face plates look really sharp and give the G25 an appearance that will make folks think it cost much more than $300. These plates also provide a very sure-footed grip for your feet as you work them. But possibly the single most eye-catching feature of the G25’s pedal unit is the presence of a third pedal to replicate the clutch. This addition is most welcome to any racing simulation realism fan, as it now provides us the opportunity to work that important clutch pedal in the way nature (and automotive engineers) intended, and is a necessary compliment to the G25’s H-pattern shifter.

Once you start using the G25, you’ll quickly notice that the resistance forces for each pedal are noticeably different, with the brake pedal being very stiff — not quite as hard as a real race car’s brake system, but still much firmer than the earlier Momo Racing. This stiffer brake resistance makes for much more accurate threshold braking. Overall the G25’s tuning of pedal resistance adds greatly to the level of control sim drivers will have over their throttle and brakes, making it easier to modulate the inputs on each axis for quicker lap times.

Speaking of brake pedal forces, one “feature” mentioned repeatedly in the Press Kit was the “pneumatic” brake pedal. I was curious as to how this feature was implemented, so I asked our sources inside Logitech, who responded that the Press Kit was in error. It seems that the pneumatic brake pedal concept was dropped early in the design process, as it was determined that it would not be feasible for production. Apparently the Marketing folks at Logitech didn’t get the word... Just remember you heard it here first.

The only weakness in the pedal design that I could ascertain was that the pedals are all in the same static plane when released, making heel-and-toe shifting a bit more of a challenge that it should be. It would be nice if the brake pedal stuck out a bit more than the throttle, so that heel-and-toe blips of the throttle were more easily facilitated when partially depressing the brake. But that’s a minor gripe, considering all that the pedals offer us in this product.

Go To Page 2

Click here to go to top of this page.

Privacy Statement | SimHQ Staff

Copyright 1997-2010, SimHQ Inc. All Rights Reserved.